Two "netted deer" tangled in fishing net spotted at Notsuke Peninsula

A Yezo sika deer with fishing netting and rope tangled in its horns at the Notsuke Peninsula (March 10)

This year once more has brought a sighting of “netted deer” with horns tangled in fishing nets and ropes that have fallen onto the shore area. The sighting occurred at the Notsuke Peninsula, Japan’s longest sandspit, which runs through the towns of Shibetsu and Betsukai in the Nemuro region. On March 10, two netted deer were sighted near the middle of the 28-kilometer long sandspit. The nonprofit “Notsuke Eco Network”, which engages in activities including cleaning projects, is considering tranquilizing the deer with blow-dart-delivered anesthesia to remove the tangled netting.

The wintertime Notsuke Peninsula has little snow buildup due to the ocean wind, making it easy for Yezo sika deer to gather seeking their diet of sasa bamboo and grass roots. Recent years have seen up to 500 deer congregate during winter months. It is assumed that the fishing nets and rope become tangled in their horns while they forage for food. Some even become stuck, grow feeble, and die.

The nonprofit, which launched in October of last year, cleared away refuse in the area in December. Chairperson Fujii asserted, “In the worst years, sometimes up to five to six netted deer are spotted. There have only been two spotted this year. That is a testament to the effect of our cleanup efforts.”

Location

Notsuke Peninsula

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